United Arab Emirates (UAE) researchers have developed a hydrogel polymer contact lens (CL) infused with gold nanoparticles to help correct red-green colour vision deficiency (CVD).
Unsatisfied with current solutions – commercially available tinted glasses that are unable to correct vision and safety concerns over hot-pink dyed CLs currently in development – a team of researchers at Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi, have attempted to create a safer way for CVD patients to see colours.
The UAE team infused CL material with non-toxic gold nanoparticles, used for centuries to produce "cranberry glass" because of their ability to scatter light. Filtering light of 520-580nm (the wavelengths where red and green overlap), the rose-tinted gels were more selective in the wavelengths they blocked compared to two commercially available glasses, and matched the wavelength filtered by the prototype hot-pink dyed lens. The lenses also had water-retention properties similar to those of commercial CLs. In vitro studies indicated that the gold nanocomposite CLs would be suitable for people with red-green colour issues without toxicity concerns. Human trials will be required to assess comfort, said researchers.
For more on CLs for to fix colour blindness, see https://eyeonoptics.co.nz/articles/archive/contacts-for-colour-blindness/